Thuan Nguyen-Lakrik emigrated from her native Vietnam at the age of 10 without any spoken, written, or signed language. She attended public schools and later transferred to the Oregon School for the Deaf. Thuan earned her Bachelor's in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University in 2000 and her Master's in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University in 2002.
Upon completion of her graduate studies, she returned to Gallaudet to serve as the Coordinator of Mentoring Program with the Center of Academic Support Programs which is now called the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students (ODES). Since 2009, she has been with Residence Life and Housing as a Coordinator of Residence Education, which includes being the Graduate Assistant Program Coordinator.
Thuan has presented nationally and internationally on race, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Her presentations have illustrated the issues of inclusion, race, and leadership with an emphasis on Asian deaf identity and the challenges of cultural assimilation.
Thuan has also distinguished herself as a leader and advocate within the Asian Deaf Community. She served as Program Coordinator for the National Deaf People of Color Conference in 2010; was one of the founders of the Deaf Women of Color in 2005; directed the Asian and Pacific Islander Deaf Student Collegiate Leadership Institute during the 2011 NADC Conference; and was appointed to the board of the National Association of the Deaf. In 2003, she was elected as the first female president of the Greater Washington Asian Deaf Association, a chapter of NADC and in 2011, was elected as President, National Asian Deaf Congress (NADC). Since 2002, she has been the staff advisor to the Asian Pacific Islander Association, a student organization at Gallaudet.
Thuan is currently a doctoral student in the field of Leadership in Higher Education at Capella University.